This Week at Holy Apostles – 4/14/19

Holy Week and Easter Day

Palm Sunday – April 14
            
Morning Prayer – 8:30AM
            
Holy Eucharist with Blessing of the Palms, Procession, and Passion Reading – 10AM

Tuesday –  April 16
Morning Prayer – 9:15AM

Wednesday – April 17
Morning Prayer – 9:15AM
Tenebrae – A service of readings and growing darkness 6:30PM

Maundy Thursday – April 18
Morning Prayer – 9:15AM
Agape Meal, Holy Eucharist & the Stripping of the Altar – 6:30PM
The Altar of Repose—from 9PM-9AM Friday

Good Friday – April 19
Morning Prayer – 9:15AM
Children’s Stations of the Cross 10AM
Egg decorating at the Rectory (children of all ages invited) – 11AM
Good Friday Service – 12PM
Good Friday Liturgy – 6:30PM

Holy Saturday – April 20
Easter Vigil followed by Champagne Reception – 8PM

Easter Sunday – April 21
Morning Prayer 8:30AM
Festival Choral Eucharist with Baptism – 10AM

Easter Egg follows Easter service!

Announcements – 4/14/19

Worship

† The service this morning will begin in the Parish Hall with the blessing of the Palms. 

† Easter Sunday will truly be a joyful day as we celebrate the Christ’s victory over death and welcome through baptism Maxwell Wagner into the body of Christ.  Max is the son of David Wagner and Jennifer Sibley Wagner. 

† Healing Prayers will be offered the second Sunday of Easter, April 28th. 

† Morning Prayer is offered at 8:30AM on Sunday mornings and at 9:15AM Tuesdays through Fridays.  Anyone can pray the service privately using the Book of Common Prayer or one of a number of smart phone apps!  See the last section of the digital edition of the “Acts of the Apostles” for details.

† Sign up to sit with Christ at the Altar of Repose 9PM Thursday—9AM Friday this week.

Outreach

† We are collecting non-perishable food items for the food pantry of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia.  Look for the collection box in the hallway outside the parish hall.

† Our next all-church Darby Mission Meal: 9/17/19.

Good News

† Montgomery County will be using the back portion of our parking lot on Sunday, April 28th for a Bike Safety Rodeo in conjunction with the Penn Wynne Civic Association Earth Day Celebration (in the park).  We need volunteers to help welcome people onto our property and to do crowd & traffic control.  Sign up on the bulletin board outside the church office.  Also, note this will affect parking for church on that day. 

† Save the Date: Haverford Heritage Festival – Sunday, June 2.  The church will have a booth.

Children and Youth

† Because Palm Sunday is a lot of fun, we have encouraged all families  to attend today’s 10AM service. Family Evening Worship will also be offered at 5:30PM for those who want to come to church twice!

† Nursery Childcare is available during the 10:00AM Sunday service for children ages 3 and younger in the Godly Play Room.

† Sunday School: Children Preschool – 2nd grade and 3rd – 8th grade attend Sunday classes at 10:00AM, the same time as the church service starts; children join their parents in the church in time for communion. Classes are held on the 1st, 3rd, & 4th Sundays of the month. On 2nd Sundays children attend church with their parents, either the 10:00PM Holy Eucharist service or the 5:30PM Family Worship Service. When there is a 5th Sunday, children attend church with their parents, with some of the children taking part in leading the service.

† The Holy Apostles Choir School is looking toward it’s grand opening in the Fall of 2019.  If you have a potential student, apply today.  More information is available at holyapostlespa.org/choir-school/. Please forward this information to friends and neighbors who may be interested. Contact Deb Stambaugh if you have any questions.

Parish Life

† Official CHA T-shirts; $17; order yours outside the church office.

† Easter Flower Memorials– please have your memorials to the church office no later than this coming Tuesday, April 16. It is our custom to remember deceased loved ones in the light of Christ’s Resurrection with a stunning array of flowers on Easter day.  A letter was sent out this week.  Let the office know if you didn’t receive yours. The suggested donation is $8.00 per name.  Extra envelopes can be found on the Connect table.

† Don’t forget to enter the church through the Parish office door and grab a “Church Member” badge from the office during Daycare hours (7:00AM – 6:00PM Mon-Fri)!

† The Cash for Causes Program at Giant Supermarket:

               -Purchase through JT Wertz

               -5% of card value is given to Holy Apostles operating fund.

               -Can be used in store or when ordering Giant groceries through     peapod online delivery service.

Education

† Thank you to all who participated in our Lenten Soup Group series!  Look for more adult education opportunities in the near future!

† Bible Study is held on Thursdays at 11AM.

Diocesan / Community Events

† Mental Health First Aid Training (Youth) – May 4—8:30a-4:30p. St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Germantown.

† Community Veteran Culture Training / Healing Ceremony – May 6-7 starting at 8am.  Cranaleith Spiritual Center, Philadelphia. 

Announcements – 4/7/19

Worship

† Palm Sunday is next week!  The service will begin in the Parish Hall with the blessing of the Palms.  Healing Prayers will be the following Sunday.

† Holy Week Schedules have been sent by mail, they are also in the back of the “Holy Week & and the Mystery of Easter” booklets.  Extras can be found on the Connect table.

† Morning Prayer is offered at 8:30AM on Sunday mornings and at 9:15AM Tuesdays through Fridays.  Anyone can pray the service privately using the Book of Common Prayer or one of a number of smart phone apps!  See the last section of the digital edition of the “Acts of the Apostles” for details.

Outreach

† We are collecting non-perishable food items for the food pantry of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia.  Look for the collection box in the hallway outside the parish hall.

† Our next all-church Darby Mission Meal: 9/17/19.

Good News

† Montgomery County will be using the back portion of our parking lot on Sunday, April 28th for a Bike Safety Rodeo in conjunction with the Penn Wynne Civic Association Earth Day Celebration (in the park).  We need volunteers to help welcome people onto our property and to do crowd & traffic control.  Sign up on the bulletin board outside the church office, or email the office.  Free T-shirt for all volunteers who sign up by April 11! Also, note this will affect parking for church on that day. 

† Save the Date: Haverford Heritage Festival – Sunday, June 2.  The church will have a booth.

Children and Youth

† Next week is Palm Sunday!  All families are encouraged to attend the 10AM service.  There will be fun opportunities for children to participate in the service.  Family Evening Worship will also be offered at 5:30PM for those who want to come to church twice!

† Nursery Childcare is available during the 10:00AM Sunday service for children ages 3 and younger in the Godly Play Room.

† Sunday School: Children Preschool – 2nd grade and 3rd – 8th grade attend Sunday classes at 10:00AM, the same time as the church service starts; children join their parents in the church in time for communion. Classes are held on the 1st, 3rd, & 4th Sundays of the month. On 2nd Sundays children attend church with their parents, either the 10:00PM Holy Eucharist service or the 5:30PM Family Worship Service. When there is a 5th Sunday, children attend church with their parents, with some of the children taking part in leading the service.

† The Holy Apostles Choir School is looking toward it’s grand opening in the Fall of 2019.  If you have a potential student, apply today.  More information is available at holyapostlespa.org/choir-school/. Please forward this information to friends and neighbors who may be interested. Contact Deb Stambaugh if you have any questions.

Parish Life

† Get your official Church T-Shirt! We are ordering T-shirts (made in the USA; no sweat shop). If you would like one sign up and list shirt sizes on the bulletin board outside the office. The shirts will be deep blue and will have the “A place to belong” logo on them. Cost: $17 – Earth Day Volunteers are Free!

† Easter Flower Memorials– It is our custom to remember deceased loved ones in the light of Christ’s Resurrection with a stunning array of flowers on Easter day.  A letter was sent out this week.  Let the office know if you didn’t receive yours. The suggested donation is $8.00 per name.  Extra envelops can be found on the Connect table.

† Don’t forget to enter the church through the Parish office door and grab a “Church Member” badge from the office during Daycare hours (7:00AM – 6:00PM Mon-Fri)!

† The Cash for Causes Program at Giant Supermarket:

               -Purchase through JT Wertz

               -5% of card value is given to Holy Apostles operating fund.

               -Can be used in store or when ordering Giant groceries through     peapod online delivery service.

Education

† This Wednesday at 6:30PM is your last chance to join our Lenten “soup group” which has met Wednesday nights in Lent!  Come for the soup and stay for a lively discussion about faith and life (or come for the discussion and stay for the soup!)  This year’s topic is:

                                      “Good News & God’s Mission”

† Bible Study is held on Thursdays at 11AM.

Community Events

† Mainline Reform Synagogue is hosting a Women’s Interfath event today Sunday, April 7 from 3-5PM.  The event is entitled: “Refugees and Asylum Seekers Share Their Stories of Exodus: A Women’s Interfaith Gathering.” 

A Note from the Rector – 3/31/19

I am getting excited for Holy Week and Easter!  Holy Week (the week before Easter Sunday) is April 14-20.  As it approaches, I want to highlight some of the deeply meaningful practices that make it the culmination of the Lenten season, and—If you include Easter itself—the culmination of the entire Christian year.  The week is a huge marathon of church (trust me, I know), but I cannot stress how valuable, transformative, and excited it can be when you throw yourself into it wholeheartedly.  My heart is racing just thinking about it (seriously). 

Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil (Saturday Night) are all uniquely tied together.  They even have a special name as a group: The Tridiuum (tri-dee-um).  In some senses they are each different movements of the same service.  Maundy Thursday (6:30PM, April 18), doesn’t have a dismissal at the end.  A normal service ends with “Go forth in the name of Christ” or something like that, but Maundy Thursday just cuts off.  Likewise, the Good Friday liturgy (6:30PM, April 19) does not have the normal beginning to a service—there is no Procession, song, or even opening acclamation (normally services begin with: “Blessed be God…”).  The Good Friday liturgy just jumps right in.  And then there’s the Easter Vigil (8PM, April 20).  Don’t even get me started right now on the Easter Vigil.  Next week I am going to gush over the Easter Vigil, but suffice to say that the hair stands up on the back of my neck and my eyes get watery every time I even think about it.  

I want to circle back to Maundy Thursday, the night we celebrate Jesus’ last night before his death.  He sits down to one last meal (the Passover Seder) with his disciples.  He washes his disciples’ feet.  He institutes Holy Communion, the Eucharist.  He adjourns to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray with his disciples, who can’t stay awake, and he is betrayed and arrested.  These events are re-membered and made alive in our own lives in a number of ways:

 1.  We will have an Agape meal with each other.  Agape means “love” and it is about the love that Jesus has for his disciples (us).  Various elements of that meal will have symbolic value and will remind of us of the story in various ways. 

2.    Next, we will wash each other’s feet.  This is awkward and weird, and it’s supposed to be.  That’s the point.  Jesus demonstrated that in his Kingdom the King himself is a servant to all, and that we, as disciples, must learn to serve each other.  Gross feet?  Don’t care.  Jesus—in the visage of one another, his body—is going to wash them anyway, if you let Him.   

3.   Next, we will have a Communion service that re-members (yes, I’m putting the dash there on purpose) and celebrates the first Lord’s Supper in a special way.  This will be the last time we say the Eucharistic prayer together before Easter, although extra elements will be consecrated (see below).  This will be followed by the Stripping of the Altar, a devastating ritual, where just about everything ceremonially removed that can be removed from the chancel (the area around the altar).  This symbolizes the movement of Jesus to the garden of his betrayal, and sets the stage for the starkness of Good Friday.

4.    New to us this year is a practice called the Altar of Repose.  At the Stripping of the Altar the extra bread and wine, including that which we always keep in the Ambry (that special wooden cabinet to the left of the altar) will be carried to a special altar outside our normal worship space.  Since we believe Christ is truly present in the bread and wine of Eucharist, this movement symbolizes Christ’s removal to the Garden.  Here, Christ prays in agony and asks his disciples to keep watch with and pray.  In the story (Mark 13:32-42), the disciples can’t do it.  They fall asleep.  Jesus returns and wakes them and says, “Could you not keep watch with me for one hour?”

      At the Altar of Repose, we are listening to Jesus’ call to us to keep watch and pray with him.  You are invited to sign up (alone or in pairs) for an hour-long time slot Thursday night and the early hours of Friday morning for which you can return to the church, to the Altar of Repose, and pray with Jesus. There will prayers, readings and devotions available for you if you wish.  This is can be an especially meaningful time to take your own agony, or the agony of those you love to the presence of Christ and offer it there to him to be taken up into his passion & death and be transformed by his Resurrection.  On Good Friday, we will consume this reserved Sacrament with which we’ve prayed all night.  Even on the darkest day, the day when God dies on the cross, Jesus is still present to us in our own lives.   

Lenten Offerings 2018

Dear Friends,

Lent is a season of preparation and repentance leading up to Easter.  This year Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on February 14, and continues until the Easter Vigil on the night of Saturday, March 30.

As your priest, it is my sacred obligation to call you to a holy Lent during this time.  Lent is an opportunity, perhaps, to fast from something or give something up.  It is also a time, perhaps, to take up something new—some new spiritual practice, study, scriptural or devotional reading.  Below you will find information about the Lenten services, and practices that are available at and through Church of the Holy Apostles.  You may choose to do one or more of these activities, or they may simply serve to spark your imagination.   Whatever the case, I implore you to make Lent something special.  Make it personal to you and your spiritual journey.

As in many things in life so it is for Lent, you get out what you put in.  In this case, if you spend time this February and March making for yourself a holy Lent, spending the extra time on your spiritual journey, you will be abundantly rewarded with a joyous and festive Easter season.  The more intentional the Lent, the more meaningful and joyful your Easter will be.  Remember, Lent may be 40 days, but Easter—the season in which we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus—is a 50 day party!

Ash Wednesday – February 14

6:20AM-8:46AM – “Ashes to Go” – Imposition of Ashes w/out a service at the Penfield station of the Norristown High Speed Line

9:15AM – Liturgy with Imposition of Ashes, no Eucharist

12:15PM – Holy Eucharist with the Imposition of Ashes

6:30PM – Holy Eucharist with music and the Imposition of Ashes

Wednesday Night Study Group

Our Lenten Study Group each Wednesday of Lent (except Feb. 14 & March 28). We will gather, eat a simple dinner, and discuss the inexhaustibly fascinating subject of prayer.  Youth and adults welcome.

6:30PM in the Memorial Room

February 21 – Varieties of Prayer

February 28 – Confession

March 7 – Intercessory prayer

March 14 – Contemplative prayer

March 21 – Prayer with implements (icons, rosaries, etc.)

Lenten Reading

Featured Book: The Practice of Prayer by Margaret Guenther

As a compliment to the Wednesday night study, and as a way to deepen one’s understanding on one’s own, I am recommending the book, The Practice of Prayer, written by the venerable Episcopal priest and spiritual director, Margaret Guenther.  I am buying several copies for the church’s library, personal copies can be purchased from amazon.com for between $10-$15.

Other books on various spiritual themes chosen from the parish library and from Fr. James’ library will be available to borrow and read.  Look for the book table display outside the parish hall.

Seeing the World Aright

The poet, Mary Oliver says, “To pay attention; that is our endless and proper work.” This Lent you are invited to practice the spiritual discipline of paying attention. The idea is that you use your camera phone (or other camera) to take one picture for every day of Lent looking for some little beautiful, or sacred, or holy thing that is breaking into your ordinary life:

the first green shoots of spring, the smile of a child or grandchild, a lovingly prepared meal, a candle lit against the darkness, anything that reminds you that you are God’s and that God is present in the smallest ways, and most ordinary circumstances. There is no need to be a professional photographer, it is about training ourselves to see the divine everywhere. You

will also be invited to share your pictures on facebook and other social media platforms, if you wish.

Daily Devotional

Clergy of the Merion deanery (Episcopal churches in Lower and Upper Merion and surrounding area) are collaborating on a collection of short daily devotional readings.  The devotional will be distributed as a printed booklet to all the congregations in the deanery, as well as posted online in a daily blog format.  This will be a nice way to “be on the same page” with many of our Episcopal neighbors during Lent.

Stations of the Cross

February 23 – Friday, 6:30PM – Multi-media Stations of the Cross

March 11 – Sunday, 5:30PM – Children & Youth Stations of the Cross for Family Evening Worship

March  16 – Friday, 6:30PM – Multi-media Stations of the Cross

March 30 – Good Friday, 7:30AM – Traditional Stations of the Cross

Holy Week & Easter

Palm Sunday –

Holy Eucharist with Blessing of the Palms, Procession, and Passion Reading – 10AM

Tuesday –

Morning Prayer – 9AM

Tenebrae – 6:30PM

Wednesday

Holy Eucharist – 7:30AM

Maundy Thursday –

Holy Eucharist with Foot-washing & the stripping of the altar – 6:30PM

Good Friday

Stations of the Cross – 7:30AM

Potential Ecumenical Good Friday Service

Good Friday Liturgy – 6:30PM

Holy Saturday

Easter Vigil followed by Champagne Reception – 8PM

Easter Morning

Festival Eucharist with Baptism – 10AM

 

The Church office will be closed both Monday & Tuesday following Easter day.